This Is What Jupiter Retrograde Actually Means

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Don't worry — I'm not here to tell you that Mercury is retrograde again. After the year we had, we could all use a break. Nope, I'm just here to let you know that another, different planet is fooling with our vibes, because of course it is. So what does Jupiter retrograde mean? Long story short: Some big-time personal growth is on the horizon.

First of all, let's be clear: When a planet turns retrograde, it is not literally spinning backwards. It just appears to do so from the Earth's perspective, which is honestly a good descriptor of astrology as a whole (more on that later). Every planet turns retrograde at some point during the year, though the length of time and regularity varies. In fact, at one point in 2016, five planets all simultaneously turned retrograde. People freaked. Twitter short-circuited. The world — well, it was probably already going downhill at that point, but you get what I mean.

From an astrological perspective, when any planet turns retrograde, its energy tends to be suppressed and shift internally. The world doesn't immediately crumble, as some folks like to imply, but the natural order of things is often jumbled — and as creatures of habit, that stresses us humans out. Mercury, for example, is the planet of communication, business, and travel, so when its vibes get twisted, so do our schedules.

So what about Jupiter? This one keeps to a much different schedule than our pal Mercury. As the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter tends to turn retrograde more infrequently, but remain so for much longer. More specifically, it's usually 13 months direct, followed by four months, uh, not. Case in point: 2017 will see Jupiter retrograde from Feb. 6 to June 7. Yeah. Buckle up, because we're in this for the long haul.

As the planet of good fortune, growth and expansion, Jupiter is usually a dude you want in your corner. He's the "big risks yield big rewards" friend, intoxicatingly fun to be around and always moving a mile a minute. But suppress that energy and turn it inwards, and the dark side of good fortune — addiction, gluttony, greed — has the potential to rear its ugly head.

Relax, I said potentially!

Jupiter retrograde gives us an opportunity to evaluate whether what we're aiming for is actually a good goal, or whether our motives are being influenced by greed or selfishness. Furthermore, we're being granted the time to make sure we, as individuals, are ready for these big, next step moves. Maybe you're not emotionally ready; maybe you've got some things to work through that, should they remain unexamined, could impede your ability to achieve true success.

Invest time and energy into your own well-being and personal integrity. Be honest with yourself. Like, really honest. That's the only way you can start to heal.

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